Mark 4: The Parable of the Sower
1 Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land.
2 And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them:
3 "Listen! A sower went out to sow.
4 And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it.
5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil.
6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away.
7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain.
8 And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold."
9 And he said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
The Purpose of the Parables
10 And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables.
11 And he said to them, "To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables,
12 so that "they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven."
13 And he said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?
14 The sower sows the word.
15 And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them.
16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy.
17 And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.
18 And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word,
19 but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
20 But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold."
A Lamp Under a Basket
21 And he said to them, "Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand?
22 For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light.
23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear."
24 And he said to them, "Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.
25 For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."
The Parable of the Seed Growing
26 And he said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground.
27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how.
28 The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
30 And he said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it?
31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth,
32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade."
33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it.
34 He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.
Jesus Calms a Storm
35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, "Let us go across to the other side."
36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him.
37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.
38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?"
39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40 He said to them, "Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?"
41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"
Mark 5:Jesus Heals a Man with a Demon
1 They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes.
2 And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit.
3 He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain,
4 for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him.
5 Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones.
6 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him.
7 And crying out with a loud voice, he said, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me."
8 For he was saying to him, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!"
9 And Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" He replied, "My name is Legion, for we are many."
10 And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country.
11 Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside,
12 and they begged him, saying, "Send us to the pigs; let us enter them."
13 So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out, and entered the pigs, and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and were drowned in the sea.
14 The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened.
15 And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid.
16 And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs.
17 And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region.
18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him.
19 And he did not permit him but said to him, "Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."
20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marvelled.
Jesus Heals a Woman and Jairus's Daughter
21 And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea.
22 Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet
23 and implored him earnestly, saying, "My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live."
24 And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him.
25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years,
26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.
27 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment.
28 For she said, "If I touch even his garments, I will be made well."
29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.
30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, "Who touched my garments?"
31 And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, 'Who touched me?'"
32 And he looked around to see who had done it.
33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth.
34 And he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease."
35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler's house some who said, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?"
36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, "Do not fear, only believe."
37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James.
38 They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly.
39 And when he had entered, he said to them, "Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping."
40 And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was.
41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, "Talitha cumi," which means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise."
42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement.
43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
Things to think about…
1.In Mark 4:1-9 we see Jesus talking about the parable of the sower regarding the rocky ground, the thorns and the good soil. If you have accepted Christ you are in the good soil. Do you think there is any way of discerning whether people have fallen into rocky ground or thorns right away? Can you tell whether someone has had true repentance and therefore true conversion or not? The truth is, only time will tell. In Mark 4:10-20 Jesus explains the parable in-case anyone missed it. Verse 20 says that the end goal is fruit, 30, 60 or 100 fold. What sort of fruit do you think He is talking about?
2.Jesus explains 3 more parables of the lamp, the sower and the mustard seed. Mark 4:34 says that he tells the parables to everyone, yet only explains the parables to His disciples. Why do you think He does that? He knows who are His. I am always fascinated by the storm scene Mark 4:36-41 where Jesus is simply asleep in the front of the boat. These were seasoned fisherman. They knew what a life threatening storm looked like. Jesus simply says "Peace, be still", Mark 4:39, and rebukes their faith. What situations have you been in or are in presently where everything outwardly says 'death'. This of course concerns the very essence of our belief system -concerning our faith and trust in Christ and His sovereignty. If our faith is not tested, the reality is, it may not be real. Only through trial can it be shown to be true or a fake. Our Lord creates the storm and He ordains the peace. He will deliver in the end - hallelujah! But there is a purpose in the process.
3.Run into any demons lately? My suggestion is that you have but may not have recognised that this is the case. In reality Satan under the Lord's sovereignty has blinded the eyes of every unbeliever, John 12:40, 2Cor 4:4. This is a reality for most Australians unfortunately. There is incredible demonic influence so blindingly powerful over the people we work with and those we live next to, that if we could literally see the demons I believe we would shudder. The demons in this one man, in Mark 5:1-16, literally drove 2000 pigs mad enough to stampede down a hill and drown themselves. My question - What are demons doing to those around us who do not know Christ? Some of those who are demon possessed are not like this man, but are in fact very well dressed in suits, or perhaps drive very nice cars or have wonderful homes outwardly. Their demon possession is just expressed through a defiant rebellion against God. This is not in open anger or hatred towards you. It is just expressed through self-will rather than God's will. My prayer is that the Lord will open our eyes so we can see the horror of the demons that are oppressing them.
4.Why do you think Jesus asks this man, who just been released of all these demons, to go and tell everyone what the Lord has done for him, Mark 5:19, but elsewhere Jesus says to people not to tell anyone what He has done for them? The reason is because the man lives in the Gentile area of the Decapolis – the ten cities. This man would be a witness to Christ among the Gentiles. Let's never keep those who are gifted in sharing their faith to ourselves. They have a message to tell – let's make sure their testimony is heard.
5.Who is the most important person, or what is the most important thing for you? As this blog goes out to Christians I can hear an echo coming back saying, 'Well Jesus is of course'. That's great, and wonderful if it is true. But what is the most important thing to you on this earth? IE a thing or person that does not take faith to enjoy, the thing or person that you can see, smell, touch, love. For Jairus, it was his 12 yo daughter. She was dying….but no wait, had just died. Jairus goes against his synagogue ruling scruples, steps out in faith and seeks out Jesus. Our idols need to die to show us where we truly place our heart of trust. We know it should be in Christ. Don't be surprised if this is challenged or questioned by our Lord every now and then when He takes away something that you hold very dearly. I say this with much trembling, because I hold my family very dear. My prayer is that in the last day Jesus says to all those whom we love on this earth "I say to you, arise".
6.Doctors who know what they are doing are a wonderful blessing. Many of us have experienced and known the blessing of modern medicine, especially when it has been ministered by a competent physician. But what about the pain and cost paid towards those who are medically incompetent or unable to help, where the treatment simply doesn't work. This is what happened with the woman who had lived with this flow of blood for as long as Jairus' daughter had been alive, 12 years, (Mark 5:21-34). She was at her wits end and simply touches Jesus' garment for healing. Is there anyone you know today, who has tried modern medicine with a limited measure of success? Sometimes we need to be brought to the end of ourselves to trust fully in the healing hand of Christ. He doesn't always heal as the Apostle Paul experienced Himself, 2Cor 12:8, but at least you know there is a perfect purpose behind it when you have fully offered yourself to His mercy and grace.
CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.
Sunday's sermon "Jesus the Saviour of Jerusalem" came from Zechariah 12.
1.Why is Jerusalem called a city of Staggering for the surrounding nations, Zech 12:2 and a heavy stone for all nations, vs 3 do you think?
2.God says he will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a Spirit of grace, Zech 12:10. What does this mean do you think?
3.They shall look on the One they have pierced and mourn. Who is this referring to and why are they all mourning?
4.There will be a heavenly Jerusalem come down. No other city will come down from heaven. Why is this so and what does it mean?
5.Pray for our new arrivals at CBC. Thank the Lord for our combined service – pray for our city.
1.Pray for Catherine Charlesworth recovering from a bad fall. Pray for a full recovery.
2.Pray for Ailsa, Hans and Peter remembrance service this week.
3.Combined Baptist service next month Leichhardt Baptist, 5th April.
4.New people as they settle into the church.
5.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.
6.Sunday's message on Mark 1 "John the Baptist" - Ps Jay. Axiom:- "The online realities we play with " – 6:00pm.
7.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop and podcast area.
8.Church finances to meet our expenses.
9.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.
1.Great combined church service at CBC Sunday night.
2.Men's brekky Saturday morning
3.New Website completed – Praise God for Melody and Suzie making this happen.
4.Recharge blessed again – thankyou leaders. New youth (who have never been to church).
5.CBC's Mallacoota appeal David Jeffrey of Mallacoota, our money is still being used by the Lord to bless the community.
6.Unity, peace and Christ's love over our church.
1.Aitchison - Hosting, morning tea next Sunday morning.
2.Kids@Church and Recharge parents.– Leaders for next Sunday Older group Leader:- Catherine Charlesworth. Lesson :- Easter Science 1. 2Cor 5:17. Younger Group Leader:- Fi Beatty, Assistant:- Leah Christensen. Lesson:-God made me t-shirt P 28..
3.Recharge youth 7pm at Church, Fri 7th Feb for all High Schoolers. Progressive dinner! Meet at church at 7pm. Cost $10 for bus hire.
March catechism question...
Q. 10. What is the third petition?
A. "Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven."
Bible Reference – Matt.6:10; Luke 11:2.
"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3